by Julie Chamberlain
The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly is currently leading eleven on the ground projects that help protect, preserve and restore the Muskegon River. Here is a quick update on six of these activities:
Preventing Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) with Mobile Boat Washing Education.
Two mobile boat washers will demonstrate the importance of cleaning, draining and drying boats before and after they enter waterways as an essential way of preventing the spread of invasive plants and animals into lakes and streams. Boat washers are located in Houghton Lake and Newaygo County. They can travel to other locations. Call us if you are interested in hosting a mobile boat washing educational session at 231-591-2324. Thank you to the U.S. Forest Service and the Houghton Lake Improvement Board for their support.
Informal Educational programs in Newaygo County.
Hikers, paddlers, gardeners, conservationists, and lifelong learners will all find outlets for their particular passion in a new series of programs. Beginning in April with a volunteer activity for river country young people, there are currently six different events on the calendar before the end of June with several more in the planning stages. All are open to the public and free of charge. For complete details, please check out this flyer. We hope you will find something that matches your interest.
All of the activities we have planned are possible thanks to the generous support of the Fremont Area Community Foundation as well as the efforts of a group of dedicated conservationists known as the River Country Conservation Collaborative. In addition to the MRWA, members include Michigan State University Extension, Newaygo Conservation District, Newaygo County Parks Department and the Newaygo Invasive Plants Project. We offer our sincere thanks to all for their support.
Let’s all get outside this year.
April 22, Global Youth Service Day, Saturday, 9 am-1 pm
Join Newaygo County Parks to plant trees at Sandy Beach Park (North of Hardy Dam just off Elm Street) 6926 30th St., White Cloud. Meet at the Pavilion. Register by contacting Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 28, Karner Blue Butterfly Hike, 2 pm, Sunday
Witness these endangered butterflies in their natural environment. Prepare for easy to moderate hiking. Long pants & high top boots recommended. Meet at Michigan Nature Association Sanctuary corner of Croton Dr. and Spruce Ave. Rain date is May 30, 2 pm. Contact Randy at: email@example.com for information.
June 9, Native Plant Workshop and Sale, 1-6 pm, Friday
Native plant workshop will be held from 1-3pm in Kropscott classroom (white building), then, purchase native plants from 3-6 pm at the
Kropscott Environmental Center, 6523 West Baseline Rd., Fremont. Call the Newaygo Conservation District at 231-225-3072 for pre-orders and information.
June 9, Native Plant Sale, 3–6 pm, Friday
Join the Soil Conservation District for their annual native plant sale at Kropscott Farm Environmental Center, 6523 W. Baseline Rd. Fremont, MI. Contact Rosa for information at 231-225-3072. A great way to go native!
June 10, Fun Paddle, Saturday
Join the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly for a fun paddle on the river. Contact Pat at 231-591-2334 to register.
June 19, Invasive Species Update – brown bag lunch, 11am Mon.
Learn about aquatic invasive species and how you can help prevent their spread in Newaygo County lakes. Contact Randy at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Planting Trees Protects the River
Bridgeton Township in Newaygo County is the first of three locations in the watershed to plant trees with the support of the USDA, Forest Service Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry. Muskegon and Big Rapids will plant trees later in the season. In April, township members planted 40 trees to help reduce pollutants from reaching the river. In addition, a rain garden will be planted this spring thanks to the Fremont Area Community Foundation with help from the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. Visit this park at Warner Avenue and South River Driver along the Muskegon River in southwest Newaygo County.
Improving Tamarack Creek
There are two charming parks near Howard City. One is called Minnie Farmer Park and the other is Artman Park. Both are important parts of reducing nutrients in Tamarack Creek. MRWA will work with Tri-County students to plant trees and shrubs along Tamarack Creek in both of these parks. Minnie Farmer Park will be planted on April 28 and Artman Park will be planted on May 12. These are experiential learning opportunities for the students. Who will also participate in learning activities including water quality, stream health, native trees & shrubs and invasive species.
Three Electronic Collections Coming to Mecosta County.
Three electronic collections will be held in Mecosta County for county residents to safely dispose of electronics.
Saturday, April 22, 9-12 Fire Station – Mecosta
Saturday, April 29, 9-12 Morley Police Department, Morley
May 6, 9-12 Fork Township, Community Building
Twin Lake Natural Resources Field Day.
A total of 120 third grade students from Twin Lake Elementary School will walk to Twin Lake Park on May 24th to participate in hands on learning activities including; macroinvertebrates, water pollution, water cycle and wildlife habitats. The Natural Resources Day is supported through the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.
Your help is needed now more than ever!
The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly has enjoyed an abundance of support from the Wege Foundation over the past 14 years. They have decided to fund only activities in the Grand Rapids area. We are thankful for their past support. That means, your support is needed more now than ever before! The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly needs funding to continue the on the ground education and restoration projects that help the Muskegon recover from human activities of the past.
As you read in the previous articles about Sturgeon, the newly hatched fish need cover to hide from predators while their protective armor develops. This cover was removed during logging. MRWA has projects in Bigelow Creek to restore instream structures to protect all kinds of fish. In addition, we are planting trees to soak up excess storm water that carries pollutants to the river. We are replacing trees that were lost due to logging.
Your contributions, no matter how large or small are important to us. Thank you for your support. Please see the information below to send us your gift of support or go to: http://mrwa.org/donate/ . Thank you for your thoughtful gifts.